LPI Lunar Exploration Summer Intern Program
“To help integrate those science priorities with NASA’s exploration program, the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) is hosting a special summer intern program to evaluate possible landing sites for robotic and human exploration missions. Two teams of students will work with LPI science staff and other collaborators to evaluate the best landing sites to address each of the NRC’s science priorities. This will be a unique team activity that should foster extensive discussions among students and senior science team members. This Lunar Exploration Summer Intern Program will operate parallel with LPI’s regular summer intern program.”
This banner was printed out by Moon Express, a Google Lunar X-Prize competitor.
Keith Cowing, Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project co-lead. Photo taken by Nancy Atkinson from Universetoday.com
“Innovate Our World, a Maryland educational nonprofit, has partnered with a leading Google Lunar X prize competitor, Astrobotic Technology of Pittsburgh, PA, to help student teams from two central Maryland high schools design payload concepts suitable for Astrobotic’s planned 2013 Tranquility Trek mission to the Apollo 11 landing site. Using information about the lunar environment, previous missions to the Moon, basics of conceptual payload design, and local experts, students from Glenelg Country School in Ellicott City, Maryland and Oakland Mills High School in Columbia, Maryland proposed and designed two lunar payloads and will present their concepts to Astrobotic Technology on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 1 p.m.” More
Figure 1: Lunar Orbiter II sub-frame 2070H2 superimposed on LROC NAC image M116154252LE.
N. G. Moss1 and T. M. Harper2, M. B. Motta3, A. Epps4
1LOIRP Project P.O. Box 375 Moffett Field, CA 94035, Neulynm-at-yahoo.com, 2 LOIRP Project P.O. Box 375 Moffett Field, CA 94035, travis.martin.harper-at-gmail.com. 3 LOIRP Project P.O. Box 375 Moffett Field, CA 94035. Mbmotta-at-yahoo.com., 4Skycorp, Building 596, NASA Ames Research Park, Moffett Field, CA 94035, Austin.epps-at-gmail.com
Submitted to 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.
Introduction: In 1966 and 1967 NASA sent five Lunar Orbiters to photograph nearly the full surface of the moon. Each orbiter launched took images of different areas of the moons surface, or very high resolution images corresponding to lower resolution images previously taken. Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) is one of the several projects using these images for research. We are in possession of 1,478 2″ original analog tapes from 3 Deep Space Network ground stations. We have taken hundreds of those analog tapes and converted them to digital form; with the majority of them being from Lunar Orbiter II which took images with .8 to 1 meter resolution.
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, mission is sponsoring a series of workshops for educators of students in grades 6-12. These workshops will focus on lunar science, exploration and how our understanding of the moon is evolving with the new data from current and recent lunar missions.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has allowed scientists to measure the coldest known place in the solar system, map the surface of the moon in unprecedented detail and accuracy, find evidence of recent lunar geologic activity, characterize the radiation environment around the moon and its potential effects on future lunar explorers and much, much more!
Workshop participants will learn about these and other recent discoveries, reinforce their understanding of lunar science concepts, interact with lunar scientists and engineers, work with real LRO data and learn how to bring these data and information to their students using hands-on activities aligned with local, state and national standards. Laptops are strongly encouraged for those participating in this workshop.
Workshops will take place in the following locations:
— June 20-24, 2011 — Herrett Center for Arts and Science, Twin Falls, Idaho
— June 27-July 1, 2011 — Hinds Community College, Utica Campus, Utica, Miss.
— June 27-July 1, 2011 — McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord, N.H.
— July 25-29, 2011 — John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.
— Aug. 1-5, 2011 — Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.
Applications for three workshops are due April 1, 2011. Applications for other workshops are due at a later date. For more information and to register for the workshops, visit http://lunar.gsfc.nasa.gov/lwe/index.html. Questions about these workshops should be directed to Andrea.J.Jones@nasa.gov.
Students and Faculty at the Park Avenue Elementary School in the Yuba City Unified District
Editor’s note: Dennis Wingo and Ken Zin are part of the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) team. LOIRP make frequent use of old NASA computers and surplus hardware. It is through this experience that Dennis and Ken became familiar with all of the potentially useful equipment sitting around waiting for someone to think of something to use it for. They found a use for it.
NASA: California middle school students using the camera on NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter have found lava tubes with one pit that appears to be a skylight to a cave. The students in science teacher Dennis Mitchell’s class at Evergreen Middle School in Cottonwood, Calif., were examining Martian lava tubes as their project in the Mars Student Imaging Program offered by NASA and Arizona State University. Students in this program develop a geological question, then target a Mars-orbiting camera to take an image that helps answer the question. Mars Odyssey has been orbiting the Red Planet since 2001, returning data and images of the Martian surface and providing relay communications service for the twin Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. See full story
NASA Invites Public to Take Virtual Walk On The Moon
“More than 37 years after humans last walked on the moon, planetary scientists are inviting members of the public to return to the lunar surface as “virtual astronauts” to help answer important scientific questions. No spacesuit or rocket ship is required – all visitors need to do is go to www.moonzoo.org and be among the first to see the lunar surface in unprecedented detail. New high-resolution images, taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), offer exciting clues to unveil or reveal the history of the moon and our solar system.”
Keith’s note: On Thursday, 10 December 2009, we conducted a live webcast from the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) at “McMoon’s” i.e. Building 596 at the NASA Ames Research Park.
Dennis Wingo and I give you a tour of our project including a walk through of the abandoned McDonald’s that has been our base of operations since 2008. We show you how we rack tapes, play them back, capture the data on a computer, and then stitch the image framelets together. You can look over our shoulders and see the imagery as it appears on one of our old TV monitors. We’ve picked an especially interesting tape to show you. Eventually this image will be posted online at LPI and submitted to the NSSDC.
This project has been funded and supported by a bunch of imaginative folks at ESMD, IPP, NLSI, ARC, SkyCorp, SpaceRef Interactive, and Odyssey Moon with assistance from a range of people ranging from retired Lunar Orbiter project personnel and Lockheed Martin employees to local high school and college students. Soon, we expect to have two tape drives fully operational and to be able to produce images on a daily basis.
Oh yes, in case you are wondering, I donate my time (and money) to this project. What fun. Its like bringing a time machine back to life in a high tech junkyard. We are looking to begin some pervasive EPO in coordination with NLSI and the Challenger Center for Space Science Education in the very near future.
The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) will excavate the permanently dark floor of one of the Moon’s polar craters with two heavy impactors in 2009 to test the theory that ancient ice lies buried there. The impact will eject material from the crater’s surface and subsurface to create a plume that specialized instruments will be able to analyze for the presence of water (ice and vapor), hydrocarbons and hydrated materials. Mission scientists estimate that the Centaur impact plume may be visible through amateur-class telescopes with apertures as small as 10 to 12 inches. As the mission progresses, this site will provide the general public, classrooms, and the amateur astronomy community details on how to observe the impact. The LCROSS mission will actively solicit images of the impact from the public. These images will provide a valuable addition to the archive of data chronicling the impact and its aftermath. This site will include a gallery of images received from both the public and professional communities. [More]
NASA Quest and the LCROSS mission invite you to register for Part II of the “Exploration through Navigation Challenge: Charting a Course to the Moon”. In this challenge students will be tasked to chart a course from Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida to one of the lunar poles using navigation skills appropriate for outer space. The essential question used to keep students on task is “How do you stay on course?” [More]